The joy of a white Christmas dissipated Wednesday as motorists challenged nature’s bountiful gift.
Road conditions remained poor as overnight temperatures exacerbated icy road conditions. By Wednesday afternoon, traffic increased but area officials remained concerned about what Thursday would bring in terms of road conditions.
“Luckily, it was not like 2009,” Paul Tucker, Carter County Emergency Management Coordinator, said. “It is supposed to warm up above freezing, so if you are going to drive Thursday, be careful. Allow extra time to get to your destination.” Tucker said a total of four inches of snow was recorded Christmas day.
Carter County Commissioner Kevin Robinson said the Ardmore area appeared to have received more ice than the western part of the county. County crews were busy Wednesday placing sand at the main thoroughfares and intersections.
“It will make a little bit of a difference, but it will freeze back up and stay hard packed,” Robinson said.
The icy roads did force Southern Oklahoma Regional Disposal to suspend trash collection efforts. SORT will attempt to pick up trash today, conditions permitting.
Ardmore City Manager J.D. Spohn said city crews were out early Wednesday morning and that there had been no accidents reported.
“I appreciate all the street department’s efforts,” Spohn said. “People seem to be getting around pretty good. The crews will be back out in the morning and, hopefully after Thursday, we won’t have to worry about it. We understand the roads are slick and we are concerned about safety.” Not all city offices were at full strength as several county municipalities ran with small crews or none at all.
Wilson Mayor Frank Schaaf said everyone was told to stay home except for the police department. Schaaf added he expects the city to be fully manned today.
Lone Grove City Manager Ian O’Neal told city employees to stay home if they could not make it into work because of road conditions.
“Whoever could make it, made it to work,” he said. “If they couldn’t, it was no big deal." O'Neal said city work crews took time off from their personal Christmas celebrations to begin work ing on city streets when the winter storm hit. Those efforts continued Wednesday morning as crews continued to sand roads. O'Neal did report several accidents within the city.
The City of Healdton was open for business Wednesday with a smaller staff.